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Makoto AZUMA
Written by Satoshi KOGANEZAWA   
Published: December 31 2008

© Makoto Azuma

Born on July 24, 1976 in Fukuma Town (currently Fukutsu City), Fukuoka Prefecture. Flower shop owner.

He came to Tokyo in 1997 to make his debut in a rock band with four members.  While engaged in the band activities, he started to work as a trader in Ota Market, one of the biggest markets of flowers and ornamental plants in Japan.  Becoming increasingly attracted by flowers, he took charge of a flower shop in a supermarket in Azabu-juban in 1999.  In 2001, he opened an haute-couture flower shop named JARDINS des FLEURS at GINZA KOMATSU with Shunsuke Shiinoki, where he purchased flowers to order.  Since exhibiting his work entitled "shiki", which was created by using pine trees, at Tribeca Issey Miyake New York in 2005, he has been energetically presenting his works at museums and galleries both within and outside Japan.  He has been cultivating flowers/plants in his own field in Moriya, Ibaraki Prefecture, since 2006.  He was in charge of flower decoration used in "SAKURAN", a Japanese movie directed by Mika Ninagawa and released in 2007.  He ran a private gallery, AMPG (AZUMA MAKOTO PRIVATE GALLERY) at Kiyosumi-shirakawa for two years from April 2007 to March 2009.  From March to May 2009, he is holding an exhibition which might be called a summarization of his works displayed at AMPG. The exhibition is presented by Mitsubushi-Jisho and is at Art Gallery ARTIUM in Fukuoka, which is his hometown.  He actively continued his creative activities even after AMPG was closed.  For example, in April 2009, he exhibited at a triennial art exhibition called “TOKYO FIBER 09 SENSEWARE” which was held at the same time as Milano Salone, and from May to June 2009, he will hold a solo exhibition entitled “Distortion × Flowers” at EYE OF GYRE in Omotesando.  Furthermore, he plans to participate in “Daido Moriyama - ‘Kiroku’ on the road collaboration with 8 creators” which will be held at epSITE in Shinjuku from the end of May to the beginning of July.  JARDINS des FLEURS moved to Moto-azabu in March 2008 and to Minami-aoyama in January 2009, and is still in existence.

Regarding art that uses flowers, although there are a few hundred schools of flower arrangement in Japan, his works are different to the others which all respect the format of arrangement.  He is interested in "making flowers/plants more alive"  than they really are.  However, his works do not result only in expressing their beauty.  The term "beauty" here means the surface beauty.  His viewpoint of completely accepting flowers/plants even as they start to rot, and not ignoring the "death" behind the "life" is at the heart of his work.  His daily work as a flower shop owner may give him such a wide range of view.
His experience for two years at AMPG has made his views more emotional.  In other words, the work there might have made him focus on the feelings generated by his experiences rather than think of new approaches.  Azuma finds intangible and exhaustive elements, namely, sensuous and instantaneous factors such as music in flowers/plants, and expresses them in his works.  Such instantaneous elements remove our stereotyped images of flowers/plants and present us with totally new aspects of them.

    (Nov) Solo Exhibition, Tribeca Issey Miyake, New York
    (Dec) Window display, colette, Paris
    (Dec) Solo Exhibition with “Walkman” at Ginza Sony Building
    (Mar) Solo Exhibition "The Garden of Reverse 1 by Makoto Azuma", Mitsubishi-Jisho ARTIUM, Fukuoka
    (Nov) Performance "kehai", Fondation Cartier, Paris
    (Apr) Started the private gallery until March 2009, AMPG
    (Apr) Installation "White Tree (SHIRO-NO-KI)", Maison Martin Margiela, Tokyo
    (May) Installation "White Tree (SHIRO-NO-KI), Maison Martin Margiela, Osaka
    (Nov) SSolo Exhibition, AMPP(Azuma Makoto Private Paper), TSUTAYA TOKYO ROPPONGI
    (Jul) Solo Exhibition "Botanical Sculpture", NRW Forum, Dusseldorf
    (Oct) Group Exhibition "Second Nature, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT
    (Mar) Solo Exhibition "Makoto Azuma:AMPG vol.25", Mitsubishi-Jisho ARTIUM, Fukuoka
    (Mar) Installation "White Emotion", IMS, Fukuoka
    (Apr) Participated to "TOTAL", ELMO LEWIS Gallery, Tokyo
    (Apr) Participated to "TOKYO FIBER 09 SENSEWARE", Triennale museum, Milan
    (May) Solo Exhibition "Distortion×Flowers", EYE OF GYRE, Tokyo
    (May) Group Exhibition "Daido Moriyama "Kiroku" on the road collaboration with 8 creators, epSITE, Tokyo
    (Jul) Planting for "Naoshima Bath: “I♥湯”, Naoshima Bath, Kagawa
    (Sep) Participated to "TOKYO FIBER 09 SENSEWARE", 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, Tokyo
    (Oct) Solo Exhibition "adidas Plants Exhibition", adidas Plants House, Tokyo
    (Oct) Solo Exhibition "hand vase”, CLEAR GALLERY, Tokyo
    (Dec) Solo Exhibition "Bridge of Plants”, ARK HILLS ARK KARAJAN PLACE, Tokyo
    (Feb) Solo Exhibition "armored pine”, POLA Museum Annex, Tokyo

Last Updated on October 11 2016

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